Advancing equity in health professional education
The late Deakin graduate Dr Damion Drapac was a passionate advocate for
under-represented communities and closing the inequitable health care gap.
To ensure his legacy lives on, and to inspire generations of impactful medical
careers, Deakin is honoured to partner with the Drapac family to build a
transformational program of socially accountable medical education.
Their extraordinary gift to the Deakin School of Medicine will effect meaningful
change in health equity, transform the way modern medicine is practiced
and, above all, honour and uphold the spirit and values Damion embodied.
A proud graduate of Deakin School of Medicine, Dr Damion Drapac was a gifted, committed and deeply compassionate clinician, whose desire to be a doctor came from his humility and his goal to be of service to others. Damion was also a talented cyclist, who at the time of his death was poised to compete in elite cycling while working full-time as a doctor.
Through the Damion Drapac Centre and Scholarships, established to honour his memory, Damion will be remembered and celebrated, and will continue to transform many lives.
The Damion Drapac Centre for Equity in Health Education
Access to health care across Australia is uneven. As marginalised communities continue to experience significantly higher rates of chronic disease and mortality, the demand for more health professionals who understand the needs of these communities is urgent and growing.
Situated within the Deakin School of Medicine, The Damion Drapac Centre for Equity in Health Education will produce highly skilled cohorts of vocational doctors equipped to meet the needs of the communities they will serve, in particular, rural, Indigenous, marginalised or under-served community groups.
The Centre's key goals include:
- Developing and implementing Pathways to Medicine programs in target communities to recruit, enable access and provide support for students aspiring to a career in medicine.
- Reviewing the content and structure of the Deakin medicine course to ensure students from diverse backgrounds receive the support they require to succeed, and the training they require to support the health of their communities following graduation.
- Launching a foundational scholarship program to support students from under-represented communities and give them the best chance of success.
Importantly, enabling and supporting access to medical training for students who feel passionately about medicine as a vocation but who may not qualify for conventional programs, will change the way doctors are viewed by under-represented groups in society. A small but mighty team of dedicated staff will lead the way, paving an ambitious new path for our students and broader Deakin medical community.
This is all made possible by the Drapac family's remarkable gift – an unparalleled commitment to the University and the communities we serve. A gift and vision that will change the course of many lives and honour the memory of their beloved son, brother and Deakin alumnus – Dr Damion Drapac.
Supporting socially inclusive medical education
Damion's father, Michael Drapac, and Professor Gary Rogers, Dean of Deakin School of Medicine, explain why The Damion Drapac Centre and Scholarships are such an extraordinary opportunity for Deakin and the diverse communities we serve.
The Damion Drapac Scholars
From 2024, the Damion Drapac Scholarship for Vocational Doctors and Damion Drapac Access Fund will support those in greatest need who demonstrate the greatest commitment and potential to change lives as future doctors. The program will build an exceptional alumni cohort, each carrying Damion's name and spirit as they begin their promising new medical careers – as a Damion Drapac Scholar.
Damion Drapac Scholarship for Vocational Doctors
The flagship program at the heart of the Damion Drapac Centre for Equity in Health Education’s ethos. Covering the full duration of a Deakin medical degree, this scholarship will transform the lives of students from under-represented populations who possess a true calling to become a doctor but for whom the financial pressure would otherwise be an insurmountable barrier.
To register your interest or to receive further information on the scholarship, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Damion Drapac Access Fund
A small, flexible fund to provide emergency aid when medical students are in urgent need of extra support due to personal or financial crisis. Support will be tailored to the specific needs of the student in question, and will be executed at the Program Director’s discretion.
Vocationally, there are a lot of really bright students unable to realise their dream of becoming a doctor because of financial hardship or other barriers. These scholarships will help them overcome those barriers and produce graduate doctors with the same enthusiasm to give back to their communities as Damion had. When I see the shine in them, I will see my son.
Give today for their tomorrow
Interested in supporting Deakin students to access a brilliant education and achieve a meaningful future? Learn how you can get involved and transform lives.